Status of Agencies' Efforts to Address Improper Payment and Recovery Auditing Requirements : Before the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
The federal government is accountable for how its agencies and grantees spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and is responsible for safeguarding those funds against improper payments and recouping those funds when improper payments occur. The Congress enacted the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (IPIA) and section 831 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, commonly known as the Recovery Auditing Act, to address these issues. GAO was asked to testify on agencies' efforts to eliminate and recover improper payments. Specifically, GAO focused on (1) progress made in agencies' implementation and reporting under IPIA for fiscal year 2007, (2) major challenges that continue to hinder full reporting of improper payment information, and (3) agencies' efforts to report on recovery auditing and recoup contract overpayments. This testimony is based in part on a recently issued report (GAO-08-377R) in addition to a further review and analysis of improper payment and recovery auditing information reported in agencies' fiscal year 2007 performance and accountability reports (PAR) or annual reports. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provided technical comments which GAO incorporated as appropriate.